race relations

Book cover

The Other Talk: A Reckoning With Our White Privilege

By Brendan Kiely
Star Rating

Rated by Chris K.
Jun 23, 2022

A valuable, necessary, and accessible book. Kiely has an easy-going manner and presents ideas that could be abstract, academic theory through relatable anecdotes and stories, more often than not about himself when he was a teenager. It reads quickly and directly addresses young white readers without confrontation or shaming, encouraging listening, empathy, and a sense of responsibility (instead of guilt). Highly recommended.

If I have one complaint, it's that Kiely tries so hard to be casual and appealing that he sometimes condescends to his readers and implies low expectations of their

Lovecraft County

Lovecraft Country

By Matt Ruff
Star Rating

Rated by Karyn H
Apr 22, 2021

I’m what we librarians call a gentle horror reader.  I’m fascinated by the supernatural but can’t handle graphic violence or gore.  I normally indulge in juvenile scary stories or classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  I heard a lot of buzz around Matt Ruff’s horror novel, Lovecraft County, after the release of the critically acclaimed HBO drama series adaptation, created by Misha Green.  The premise of resilient and intelligent African American characters grappling with racism and the supernatural in the 1950s intrigued me.  This was the perfect horror novel to

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Star Rating

Rated by Melody K.
Apr 16, 2017

"There were little white boys with complete collections of football cards, and their only want was a popular girlfriend, and their only worry was poison oak." - Ta-Nehisi Coates, 'Between The World and Me'

 In this 152 page letter to his teenage son, Coates shares his experiences of the street, the school and the family and the exhausting job of being a black man in America.  Coates is a master at making you understand.  It doesn't matter what adjectives you attach to your name - smart, educated, wealthy, worldly, loving, etc the only one that truly matters is that you are black.  

I believe

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 21, 2016

Forced to read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, I simply didn’t appreciate the exceptional quality of this book at the time.  After a second reading…Oh, how I appreciate it now! The character development is phenomenal. Ms. Lee superbly describes the maturation of two children, Jem and Scout, as they discover that the world is full of injustice. Her exquisite sense of humor is perfectly paired with the seriousness of the storyline. This book portrays small town life in Alabama during the 1930s, focusing on Jem and Scout as they spend their summers trying to catch a glimpse of their

The Sacrifice

By Joyce Carol Oates
Star Rating

Rated by Cheryl M.
May 5, 2015

The Sacrifice, Joyce Carol Oates' new novel, is based largely on the 1987 Tawana Brawley alleged rape case and the author's 1969 novel, Them, based on the 1967 race riots.  The novel takes place in the fictional Red Rock neighborhood of inner-city Pascayne, New Jersey, in October of 1987.  It centers around a black family:  Sybilla Frye, 15, allegedly gang raped and beaten by white police officers; her mother, Ednetta Frye; and her stepfather, Anis Schutt.  At the center of the story are the manipulative Mudrick twins, Rev. Marus Mudrick and his attorney brother, Byron; and Leopaldo Quarrquan